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KansasFest Apple Meetup w/TI-99/4A

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   My wife and I went to KansasFest this year. What a great event! The Apple guys rent out a college dorm room and cafeteria at Rockhurst University, Kansas City. The week-long event is like going to retro computer camp with 100 like minded individuals.

 

   Each day they have scheduled events from 8am to past midnight. You sleep in a dorm room which was actually quite comfortable. The food was good too! You leave the dorm room door open to welcome visitors.

 

   Of course everything is mostly Apple // related. I did get to see and talk about other systems at the event: Atari 400, TI-99/4A, MAME arcade, and CoCo. There were podcasters from the retro community related shows as well: Jason Scott, Antic, retro computing round table, assembly lines, etc. 

 

   In the first day they get together for a giant give-away. Here’s a few shots of the offerings:

 

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   The pile had a TI-99/4A. It wasn’t working but one dorm room has techs who repair things all day long. They replaced a bad RAM chip for the recipient. Yes, I’ve pointed him in the direction of this forum and Arcadeshopper’s store!

 

   The CoCo guy had a version of Hunt the Wumpus he cloned from the TI-99/4A. I thought that was pretty cool:

 

 

   I had no idea this existed?!?!?

 

   Hopefully -next year- some 99er reading this may consider KansasFest so the we can get a small "TI-Mafia" presence at the event. 

 

   It’s basically retro computer camp for adults. I hesitated to attend KansasFest since I figured it was all Apple //. Not true. The attendees were very interested anytime I brought up the TI-99/4A and/or demo’d my game project.

 

    Lots of questions about TIpi, Matt’s 32k, F18A, nanoPEB, and the TI homebrew scene. They’re open to a TI-99/4A presentation next year. 

 

   Anyone want to help? Super cheap billeting and food for a week long event. Much, much, much more enjoyable than anticipated. Imagine attending college with only geeks, no homework, and dozens of retro related events...late night hacking...etc.

 

   Enjoyed it so much I thought I’d share the experience with the TI community.

 

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Red cups and wine:)

 

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Who knew the Apple // guys were so cool?

 

 

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A week?  Sounds really cool.  And I could pick up a free GS.  At one of our TI events it has been almost fisticuffs just to get a second day.  Can you imagine a week-long TI AA event?

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2 hours ago, OLD CS1 said:

A week?  Sounds really cool.  And I could pick up a free GS.  At one of our TI events it has been almost fisticuffs just to get a second day.  Can you imagine a week-long TI AA event?

Only if the lights are left on and the attendees aren't shushed from 8am-midnight  ;)

 

Not sure I could handle a full week but the venue and way they do this is really cool.  I think it would be a hoot to go for the experience!

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I only just learned about this event a few weeks ago in a blog post, but I did not look into it (guilty of judging an event by its title).  This sounds exactly what I have been looking for in an event, I'll give it serious consideration for sure.  Thanks for sharing this.

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Sounds like a great time was had by all. Would be cool to sit down and talk a bit with Jason Scott. His contributions to the software library at the Internet Archive is simply stupendous, not to mention his Get Lamp documentary.

 

This would really be right up my alley, as my first computer was the TI and my second was an Apple //c. I've gotten back into the Apple ][ line recently, having picked up a IIGS in nice shape. I added a Floppy Emu, jacked it up to 8 MB, replaced the on-board battery, located a decently working joystick, and am now a very happy camper! Both of these computers hold special places in my heart, along with the Amiga, as they were all at one time my main computer up until 1998 when I finally gave in and bought a PC. Now I use the PC to go back and use these machines. Oh, the irony...

 

Thanks for sharing the pics and your experience~!

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On 8/2/2019 at 5:20 PM, OLD CS1 said:

A week?  Sounds really cool.  And I could pick up a free GS.  At one of our TI events it has been almost fisticuffs just to get a second day.  Can you imagine a week-long TI AA event?

KansasFest 2020 is 21 - 27 July. It's a Tuesday through Sunday event with move outs on Monday morning. So actually six days of retro computer college.

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13 hours ago, majestyx said:

Sounds like a great time was had by all. Would be cool to sit down and talk a bit with Jason Scott. His contributions to the software library at the Internet Archive is simply stupendous, not to mention his Get Lamp documentary.

Jason Scott attends regularly. He's an extremely approachable person. He's the guy in the black ball cap in the seventh photo. In that photo they're downloading disk images from Apple ][ floppy disks directly into their modern laptops via a system named AppleSauce. At any given time there were up to three systems constantly archiving disk images for the internet archive. 

 

https://www.kansasfest.org/wp-content/uploads/KansasFest-Session-Disk-Imaging-with-Applesauce-Presented-by-John-K-Morris.pdf

 

13 hours ago, majestyx said:

This would really be right up my alley, as my first computer was the TI and my second was an Apple //c. I've gotten back into the Apple ][ line recently, having picked up a IIGS in nice shape. I added a Floppy Emu, jacked it up to 8 MB, replaced the on-board battery, located a decently working joystick, and am now a very happy camper! Both of these computers hold special places in my heart, along with the Amiga, as they were all at one time my main computer up until 1998 when I finally gave in and bought a PC. Now I use the PC to go back and use these machines. Oh, the irony...

 

Thanks for sharing the pics and your experience~!

If you have floppyEMU then you'll defiantly need to download "Final Replay" from the archive. There was a presentation on it at this year's fest. It'll run on a stock //c with floppyEMU configured as a smartport drive. The entire 32mb disk image is on the internet archive. Turns your //c into a 203 game mult-cade. Brilliant!

 

https://archive.org/details/TotalReplay

 

 

Total Replay is a frontend for exploring and playing classic arcade games on an 8-bit Apple II. Some notable features:

  • UI for searching and browsing all games
  • Screensaver mode includes hundreds of screenshots and dozens of self-running demos
  • In-game protections removed (manual lookups, code wheels, &c.)
  • Super hi-res box art (requires IIgs)
  • All games run directly from ProDOS (no swapping floppies!)

 

 

 

 

 

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On 8/8/2019 at 11:16 AM, matthew180 said:

I only just learned about this event a few weeks ago in a blog post, but I did not look into it (guilty of judging an event by its title).  This sounds exactly what I have been looking for in an event, I'll give it serious consideration for sure.  Thanks for sharing this.

More info for those considering:  https://www.kansasfest.org/wp-content/uploads/KansasFest-for-Newcomers-2018.pdf

 

Having a TI-Mafia at the event would make it even better.

 

It's titled the 2018 Newcomer's Guide but pretty much tells you what to expect. This year's Keynote Speaker was Penguin Software founder Mark Pelczarski. His Graphic's Magician software was legendary back in the day. Another guy demo'd live video streaming on an Apple ][ in three modes: hi-res, lo-res, and even ASCII. Many of the presentations were beyond clever. 

 

Matthew's F18A on the Apple ][ was presented a few years earlier, so I'm told. One of my favorite presentations was built around a guy whom converted the single payer game Karateka to a two-player version. When he was finished they surprised everyone with a live stream presentation from the game's author - Jordan Mechner. Jordan went on to create the Prince of Persia franchise. 

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If we are going to do a group meetup at Kansasfest, space is running out. 


> Hello,
>
> What would you think if a group of TI-99/4A enthusiasts flew in and wanted to have their own sessions?
> I organized a weekend conference for us in Austin, and we talked about how we want to check out Kansasfest (as well as accomodating friends who would travel to Kansas.)
>
> A bunch of us annually staff shows like VCF Midwest, VCF Southeast, Midwest Gaming Classic, Portland Retro Gaming Expo. So we're anchored on "everything 80s is good".
 

Erik,

Thanks for writing.  The session space and dormitory we’re using at Rockhurst University is nearly full.  Depending on what you have in mind and the size of your group, there might not be enough space.  Would you tell me more about what you want?

Thanks,
        -Peter

 

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On 12/2/2019 at 10:24 PM, FarmerPotato said:

If we are going to do a group meetup at Kansasfest, space is running out. 


> Hello,
>
> What would you think if a group of TI-99/4A enthusiasts flew in and wanted to have their own sessions?
> I organized a weekend conference for us in Austin, and we talked about how we want to check out Kansasfest (as well as accomodating friends who would travel to Kansas.)
>
> A bunch of us annually staff shows like VCF Midwest, VCF Southeast, Midwest Gaming Classic, Portland Retro Gaming Expo. So we're anchored on "everything 80s is good".
 

Erik,

Thanks for writing.  The session space and dormitory we’re using at Rockhurst University is nearly full.  Depending on what you have in mind and the size of your group, there might not be enough space.  Would you tell me more about what you want?

Thanks,
        -Peter

 

   I believe I purchased my tickets for the 2019 event in the spring of 2019? I was early. I'm not aware of KansasFest 2020 tickets being sold right now at all. I'll ask and post my findings. The 2020 event dates are July 21-26. It'd be great to have more TI-99/4 folks there...great!

 

   The Rockhurst University dorm had extra rooms this year as the crowd was about 85. That's at least 25 less than they've had in recent years -- same facility. They are definitely not experiencing peak attendance these days. This reply seems oddly short...as they were open to a TI-99/4A presentation for 2020. I mentioned it on their post attendance feedback form. Peter's reply here is more cautious than definitive. 

 

EDIT: Tickets for the 2020 event won't even go on sale until January 2020. How's the space nearly full? 

 

   Reading between the lines I'd say he's being cautious. They have a great Apple // event and probably don't want it turned into anything too non-Apple. I'd like to offer encouragement on this plan because everyone there (I met and talked with dozens) seemed interested when I mentioned I was a "TI-99/4 guy."

 

   I ran into retro Mac people as well as a big time CoCo programmer. Even a few Atari-800 guys...lots of non-Apple specific podcasters too: Jason Scott (archive.org), Kevin Savitz (Antic Podcast), Joe's Computer Museum on YouTube, etc.

 

   The tickets are always sold on a first come first serve basis. I'm not aware of any annual reservations. The 2019 event was not sold out to my knowledge. I did notice a few empty looking dorms.

 

   They do seem to have a very busy presentation/workshop schedule. It's my understanding they are still building the schedule for 2020 and will continue to do so for months -- maybe 6 more months? There we're random events each evening. More than enough time to slip in some daily TI-99/4 tomfoolery. 

 

   "There might not be enough space" has me thinking this is an inaccurate statement.

 

   Here's how it works guys: All the interested players purchase tickets to KansasFest 2020 and we meet up at the event! Before we go we offer to do a presentation. We can be a special interest group within a special interest group. The event is awesome and open to anyone interested. I agree with FarmerPotato that this would be an excellent venue to meet up with like-minded TI-99/4 fans....whom also have curiosity regarding the Apple // and all things retro.

 

   It's the ultimate retro computing kitchen hall pass. Think the film OLD SCHOOL but even nerdier. Cost was far less than one would expect to pay to stay in a Motel-6. The dorms are comfortable and the food was good. It's an awesome value. 

 

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23 hours ago, wierd_w said:

Kansas city is close enough for me to attend even!

One guy came from France. Another from Australia. A few from Canada and at least one from the UK. Several drove from the east coast. I met a few NASA guys from Houston. Several came from the SF Bay Area. Turns out Kansas City is in the middle of the Universe.

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The problem is that my employers are cranks, and I make very little cash as it is.  I cannot afford a very extended trip.

 

I can probably swing a week, with some leadin and lead out for the drive.  But not airfare, hotel, AND extended vacation.

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For details on KansasFest 2020, twitter: @kansasfest

 

I just found this regarding ticket sales for the 2020 event: Posted Tue, Oct. 1st 2019 in News

KansasFest 2020 will be July 21-26. Look for registration details around January. But, you don’t need to wait that long to relive KansasFest 2019 sessions. Please enjoy our videos, session archives, and HackFest archives.

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18 minutes ago, wierd_w said:

The problem is that my employers are cranks, and I make very little cash as it is.  I cannot afford a very extended trip.

 

I can probably swing a week, with some leadin and lead out for the drive.  But not airfare, hotel, AND extended vacation.

You live and eat in the dorms -- no hotels. I believe $350 total is all I paid for the event and five nights billeting in the dorms. Price includes three meals a day!

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I was meaning other events, like the one in texas, or the one in chicago.

 

This KC one I think I can swing-- that's why I was excited.

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On 12/2/2019 at 9:24 PM, FarmerPotato said:

Thanks for writing.  The session space and dormitory we’re using at Rockhurst University is nearly full.

This scared the crap out of me!  I am planning on going, and I did not see that tickets had even gone on sale yet.  Thanks Airshack for confirming that they are not really sold out.

 

As for an official TI group meet-up, I would feel awkward using another group's event for anything organized like that.  AFAIK attending is open to anyone, but this is an Apple centric group and event.  However, if people attend and happen to meet there and discuss TI (or other) tech, it sounds like that is not a problem.  But I think we should do that a few times and see if the hosts ask for some sort of presentation.  Take some TI gear, have it in your room, see what kind of interest it generates.  If a lot of people say "oh that's cool, you should do a presentation for the group", then that is the time to consider such a thing.

 

Personally I like most vintage tech, and I'm just as happy to discuss and hack around on a 6502 as I am on a 9900.  I have an Apple-IIc, and just being in the environment sounds like it will be awesome.  I will also have some TI stuff for sure, and maybe even an Apple version of the MK2 (if all goes well).

 

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Just received this info from one of the KansasFest 2020 planners (Peter Neubauer):

 

A. Registration opens near the end of March 2020.

B. Rockhurst dorms hold 110-120 people.

C. The 2019 KansasFest had 88 registrants. Not all stayed in the dorms.

 

Plenty of room and plenty of time fo save up!

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Sign-up Begins 31 March 2020

 

Robert Woodhead of Sir-Tech Software, well-known as the co-creator of the Wizardry series of computer role-playing games, will join us as the keynote speaker.  Read more about Mr. Woodhead at 

 

Robert Woodhead to deliver keynote

Posted Wed, Feb. 12th 2020 in News
woodhead-150x150.jpg Trebor the Mad Overlord (Robert Woodhead)

KansasFest 2020, the 32nd annual Apple II convention, is scheduled for July 21–26 in Kansas City, Missouri. Robert Woodhead of Sir-Tech Software, well-known as the co-creator of the Wizardry series of computer role-playing games, will join us as the keynote speaker.

At an early age, Robert Woodhead, aka Trebor the Mad Overlord, was consumed by two passions; computer programming and not having to have a real job. He first achieved this by writing computer games for Sir-Tech Software, most notoriously co-authoring the first four Wizardry CRPGs, first for the Apple ][, and later for other, lesser computers. In 1989, deciding that this wasn’t nerdy enough, he founded the oldest surviving anime releasing company, AnimEigo. Other things he’s done include: writing one of the first MMO bots, building a 2-time National Champion Combat Robot, serving 4 terms on the EVE OnlineCouncil of Stellar Management, and not being “liquidated” by his wife. Yet.

KansasFest is an annual convention offering Apple II users and retrocomputing enthusiasts the opportunity to engage in beginner and technical sessions, programming contests, exhibition halls, and camaraderie. KansasFest was originally hosted by Resource Central and has been brought to you by the KFest committee since 1995. Any and all Apple II users, fans, and friends are invited to attend this year’s event. Registration details will be announced on the KansasFest Web site, and registration will open on March 31. For photos, videos, and presentations from past KansasFests:

 

https://www.kansasfest.org/2020/02/robert-woodhead-keynote/.

 

While you wait, I suggest enjoying videos from past KansasFests: https://www.youtube.com/user/KansasFest

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The early bird registration discount period has been extended:

 

We on the Committee have decided that because of the current uncertainty, we will push the opening of registration back to April 30, 2020. For this reason, we will also be extending the Early Bird registration discount. 

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3 hours ago, Airshack said:

The early bird registration discount period has been extended:

 

We on the Committee have decided that because of the current uncertainty, we will push the opening of registration back to April 30, 2020. For this reason, we will also be extending the Early Bird registration discount. 

 

Hmm. Kansas governor just ordered no gatherings of 50 people or more, for the next two months.

 

Odds are not good for KansasFest (July).

 

I cancelled my trip to Midwest Gaming Classic (Milwaukee, April 2) just before the show itself was cancelled by the mayor's orders. (10,000 people in the city convention center.)

 

 

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This is going to be a sad year for convention and events.  I hope this happens in 2020, but it will certainly depend on how the status of the CORVID-19 pandemic in the next few months.  It will be interesting to see how the closures of almost everything impacts the spread in the next few weeks and months.

 

I took my kids to the MGC in 2013 when I still lived in Michigan.  It was pretty fun.

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I have signed up, and reserved my room, for VCF-SE... but, I am not too confident.

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